Education, Empowerment, and the HM (oh, and a $100 giveaway!)

I (The DHM) grew up in a home that valued education- not just formal education, but learning as a lifelong pursuit that adds joy and purpose to one’s life anywhere.  In my life with my husband and children, I have tried to continue to make that philosophy part of everything we do, whether we are snorkeling in the East China Sea, visiting an art museum in Chicago, eating out at a restaurant in Denver,  or reading books in our living room near the place where my great, great, great grandparents settled after the War of 1812, because learning is something you take with you no matter where you are.


While this post, and the giveaway, are sponsored by Kaplan and BlogHer, we are delighted at how perfectly this subject is tailored for our blog and our family. We were asked to interview a family member about how pursuing education has given them the power to change. As many of our readers know, the HM has recently gone back to school, pursuing a graduate degree in special needs education. This comes after an enlisted career in the Air Force and nearly eight years working (hard, mind you) in the retail grocery business. This going back to school thing has been a big step for him and we couldn’t be prouder of our lovable patriarch. Listening to what he has to say barely counts as a blog assignment and is more of a pleasure. 🙂


Grandpa reading paper


So, Without further ado, we present you with some of the Q & A’s we posed to him.


Q: How have you identified your vision and strengths? What are you passionate about? How have you stayed motivated through challenges?

A: The HM grew up with a father who was almost always emotionally and physically absent and although his vision has “evolved, by necessity, through time and education,” he also always knew that he wanted to be as different from his paternal example as possible. He says his strengths are “a passion for children given by his grandmother and great-grandmother.” In adulthood, this translated to learning about leadership. “I keep motivated through challenges by keeping my eye on the vision of having a good effect on as many people as possible,” he says. With his current endeavors, this means needing to update his skills, both technologically (classrooms are a wee different now than when he was in high school) and educationally (see the last question in the interview!)


Q: How have you spotted and capitalized on new opportunities?

A: “I’ve always tried to keep an eye on the goal and to look for new opportunities to work with my passions.” <– His family can attest to the veracity of this statement. This is a man who fervently believes every day is full of opportunities for self-improvement (well, actually, it’s sort of a family raison d’état) and better relationships.   Speaking of relationships….


Q: How have you used your network as a resource for educational advice, support, and industry knowledge?

A: “I met the principal I currently work for while substitute teaching; the principal knew my mother-in-law, another substitute teacher. Then the special needs teacher I work with as an aide suggested that I meet with the professor at a local college to see about furthering my education in the field. That teacher has continued to prove an excellent resource for networking. Multiple educators at church have given me advice on how to pursue my goal, and I’ve continued to make connections ever since.” (whew! that’s a lot of networking!)


Q: Have you developed a plan for lifelong learning? How do you keep up on the trends?

A: “Developed is the wrong word,” he says, “I want to capture all the knowledge I can.” He believes learning is a lifelong endeavor, an endeavor worth sticking to both for its intrinsic value and the way it helps build his value in whatever organization he happens to be working for (the military, the USAF, or the local public school). As for trends, with his new studies and work in special education, he had this to say: “‘trends’ are always changing, so why follow every one? Stick to what works best for the kids.” And you’ll never really know what’s best for the kids unless you study, right? 🙂


As for trends, with his new studies and work in special education, he had this to say: “‘trends’ are always changing, so why follow every one? Stick to what works best for the kids.”  And you’ll never really know what’s best for the kids unless you study, right? Incidentally, this fits so very well with my own view of education, which is probably one reason why our marriage has been going steady for 30 years. As long time readers of our blog know, I believe the best education happens when a student is motivated, has developed habits of learning, and does not have to be limited to traditional school hours or ages. It’s also one of the reason I like Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education, as she also believed firmly in continued habits of self-learning and self-discipline.


So. There are a few words about education and learning from the HM… but we would love to hear from you too! If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, please leave a comment with your answer to this question: How has education given you the power to change? (consider it your own interview question; I really do look forward to all your responses!) Everyone who responds will be automatically entered into a random drawing for a $100 Visa gift card. Good luck… and happy learning!


Change is inevitable. But, making change happen when you want it to can be hard. And when you want to make a real change, you need to learn something new. Because education is the key to change, Kaplan has spent 75 years re-writing the rules of education. Because they believe that education is not one size fits all. A system focused on the needs of individuals can give students the power to change their lives. Kaplan wasn’t satisfied with the status quo, and you shouldn’t be either. To jumpstart your change, we encourage you to watch Kaplan’s video series, Visionary Voices, to hear the latest insights on emerging trends from notable thought leaders; participate in Kaplan’s ADVANCE: Career. Education. You. group on LinkedIn to connect with professionals committed to life-long learning; and connect with students, alumni and educational professionals at, Kaplan’s one-stop-shop for the latest education news, reviews, and advice.



No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 3/7/2013-3/31/2013


Be sure to visit the Kaplan Brand Page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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